American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I. Early Colonial Period: The Seventeenth-Century and William and Mary Styles

Frances Gruber Safford

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The Metropolitan Museum’s preeminent collection of early colonial furniture is expertly documented in this long-awaited publication. It covers the full spectrum of furniture forms made during the 17th and early 18th centuries—from chairs and other seating to tables, boxes, various types of chests and cupboards, and desks.  Each of the 141 objects is thoroughly described with detailed information on provenance, construction, condition, inscriptions, dimensions, and materials.  Photographed anew in color for this volume, each piece is explicated in terms of the styles and craftsmanship of the period and is evaluated in light of comparative pieces in public and private collections throughout the country. One appendix contains photographic details of construction and decorative elements, and another has drawings of joints and moldings.

Frances Gruber Safford is Associate Curator in the Department of American Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Published in an oversize format . . . and filled with color plates of the best quality, this impressive catalogue surveys the Metropolitan's early colonial American furniture in lengthy essays on each piece by Safford, a curator at the Met. . . . This will be a valuable resource to collectors."—Reference & Research Book News

"Offers 159 astoundingly good color illustrations and 162 black-and-white ones. . . . With its excellent bibliography, volume 1 is an outstanding addition to American furniture literature. All libraries owning the first volume and all libraries looking for recent scholarship on this period should acquire it. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice

"A handsome book. . . . the writing is scholarly and thorough but so clear that it rings true and fine on all points and is easy to read. The beautiful photographs picture the furniture and detail so that everything comes alive. All the extraordinary dedication to accuracy and usefulness makes this book an excellent reference and study book for the William and Mary styles."—Maine Antique Digest

"The Metropolitan Museum's superb collection of early colonial furniture is expertly documented in this outstanding compilation of stunning photographs and detailed text."—New England Antiques Journal

"Safford has done a fine job of keeping up with the constantly evolving matter of attributions to various shop traditions. . . .Safford has given us a clear snapshot of the state of the field as it stands today."—Gerald W. R. Ward, Studies in Decorative Arts
ISBN: 9780300116472
Publication Date: December 5, 2007
Publishing Partner: Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
464 pages, 9 x 12
162 b/w + 159 color illus.